Recently there was a change in the way charities can consume Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365, EMS and Dynamics CRM.
Traditionally these services were delivered either through a direct relationship with Microsoft, often via a credit card payment or through various complex Enterprise Agreements with limited flexibility and extended lock in periods. This defeats the object of cloud delivered services, a service should be flexible, you should be able to increase and decrease consumption as you need. In the case of charities, where money raised should be going towards the cause of the charity and not IT (among other things), this is even more important, especially where charities may have seasonal or time based workers.
Microsoft has a licensing program called CSP, delivered via partners such as CAE, that enables the flexibility in the consumption of those cloud services. As a customer you know the monthly cost per user, but you can increase and decrease the quantity of users as you require, and be billed pro-rata for the daily consumption of those services. But, until now this service was only available for corporate, education and government customers. We can now deliver heavily discounted Office 365 and other cloud services from Microsoft via the CSP into charity customers.
This is an exciting development for CAE, as we have been frustrated at the inefficiencies and extra costs that were being levied onto charities because of the confines of the programs available. These cloud platforms are for collaborating and driving up productivity, but they should be cost efficient and flexible. We can now deliver that functionality into the charity sector.